Lake Michigan Anniversary {Melissa & Cory}

Lake Michigan Anniversary Traverse CityLong blog post alert!! 4 months ago, I woke up to an email from a very bubbly, super enthusiastic bride. Turns out, I had been following her on Instagram for quite a while! Because not only was she a bride, she was also a photographer whose work I completely ADORED! Melissa, from Lux Light Photography, contacted ME about her Lake Michigan anniversary! It felt like a true fan girl moment. No matter how long you’ve been photographing, being asked by another incredible photographer will always be such an honor! After a few emails and a good old fashioned Skype date, we started counting down the days until my flight to Glen Arbor, Michigan!

I am SO grateful that Melissa & Cory, two of the most genuine and kindhearted people, came into my life. But it wasn’t until after a whirlwind of their own wedding day chaos that we were able to connect. Unfortunately, Melissa & Cory’s actual wedding day didn’t go quite as planned (to put it lightly). From M.I.A vendors, to a extreme rain that caused their reception tent to collapse. They just weren’t able to have the graceful and magical day that they dreamed of. But (you always have to find the silver lining!), that event brought me to Melissa & Cory!

Basically, as soon as I got off the plane and met these two in person, it felt like we had been friends for a long, long time! For the next hour and half we drove back to their adorable home in the country! I was pretty tried from my super early flight, but at this point I was just excited for some scenery! You know, because Michigan country is WAY prettier than Indiana country! 😉 Almost as soon as I arrived, I went to my room and fell asleep (can you blame me!?). But not before I met their perfectly behaved puppers and their awesome cousin Gracie! – Shoutout, girl! Miss you! –

When I woke up from my TWO hour nap, that’s when the party really started. Melissa, Gracie, and I, went out to a beautiful cherry tree field (farm?) in Traverse City, and exchanged a headshot session! It was SO windy and a bit chilly! But it was super fun getting to watch another photographer work! Especially because I’m NEVER on the other side of the lens! We soon realized that we were all hungry, maybe even on the boarder of hangry. Melissa said the Jolly Pumpkin (so cute!) had the best mac & cheese ever, which obviously made this restaurant a no-brainer. Obviously. I am SO glad we went out to dinner that night! Not just because the mac & cheese was phenomenal, but because this is when we crammed what felt like years of friendship into one dinner. We found out that we have a LOT of fun little things in common as well as similar personalities!  Two of my favorite fun facts are that we eat a mostly pasta diet (because it’s the best), and we share an intense love for glitter and sparkles!

The next day, Melissa & Gracie took me into town to visit some cute shops along with a fun cherry shop complete with cherry wine tasting! I ended up taking a bag of chocolate covered cherries & a jar of hot cherry salsa home. Needless to say, both are gone now! Later that evening, it was time for their anniversary session! After Gracie having to push Melissa into the car because her dress was so difficult to bend in (hilarious sight, by the way), we finally met Cory at another adorable cherry tree farm for their first look! It was officially go-time for their Lake Michigan anniversary session!

The moment we left the cherry farm, the sun started to set behind a huge wall of dark clouds. We definitely had to hurry if we were going to avoid another rain soaked wedding! We literally ran up the pier to the beach to see the most gorgeous sunset ever! Right when we got down to Lake Michigan, the clouds parted just enough to let an amazing display of light through! HOW LUCKY! The rest of their session was smooth and beautiful, with occasional pops of perfect sunlight! This session was especially awesome for all of us. Melissa has taken ALL of the same wedding photography workshops as myself, so she knew exactly how I was going to pose her! Win for me because they made my job easy. And win for them because they already knew that if it feels weird, it looks amazing! Having to barely coach them into poses was a fun change of pace!

Towards the end of the evening, Melissa & Cory shared their first dance for the second time on the beach. The same beach where they shared their first kiss as husband & wife. It was SO good to seem them enjoying parts of their wedding day that they didn’t get to enjoy the first time around. By the end of their dance, we were all in tears. It was such a sweet moment. As we were wrapping up our session, the actual edge of the storm started rolling in. It came in the form of a massive, miles long, shelf cloud that twisted itself into a rope formation! With the sun setting right underneath it in a beautiful display of neon pink, we had to take just one more EPIC shot. I’ve been dying to show Melissa & Cory this photo, but I’ll just let it be a surprise! It was one of the most unique and mesmerizing sunsets I’ve ever watched. And I watch the sunset every day, so completely unique is a pretty big deal!

Melissa & Cory, I really did have the most incredible time with you two! I can’t thank you enough for trusting me to capture this extremely special and magical day for you. I’m so sorry your wedding didn’t go as planned, but I am thrilled that I got to meet and work with you because of it. I genuinely feel like I’ve made forever friends. Two days was just not long enough! I cannot wait to see you again! Next time I visit, I’ll bring my cats… and maybe Tanner. Definitely the cats though. I’m sure they would love to meet your puppers.

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P.S. Click that epic photo up there to enlarge it! 😉

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